Info for 2-Shoes, FWB

From New York Time: June 5th, 2008
Summer Flip-Flops May Lead to Foot Pain

Flip-flops are a mainstay of summertime footwear, but they can be painfully bad for your feet and legs, new research shows.

Researchers from Auburn University in Alabama studied the biomechanics of the flip-flop and determined that wearing thong-style flip-flops can result in sore feet, ankles and legs.

“We found that when people walk in flip-flops, they alter their gait, which can result in problems and pain from the foot up into the hips and lower back,’’ said Justin Shroyer, a biomechanics doctoral student who presented the findings to the recent annual meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine in Indianapolis.

For the study, the researchers recruited 39 college-age men and women and asked them to wear flip-flops or athletic shoes. They then had them walk a platform that measured vertical force as their feet hit the ground. A video camera measured stride length and limb angles.

Flip-flop wearers took shorter steps and their heels hit the ground with less vertical force than when the same walkers wore athletic shoes. People wearing flip-flops also don’t bring their toes up as much as the leg swings forward. That results in a larger angle to the ankle and a shorter stride length, the study showed. The reason may be that people tend to grip flip-flops with their toes.

Mr. Shroyer notes that he himself owns two pairs of flip-flops, and the research doesn’t mean people shouldn’t wear them. However, flip-flops are best worn for short periods of time, like at the beach or for comfort after an athletic event. But they are not designed to properly support the foot and ankle during all-day wear, he notes.

38 Responses to “Info for 2-Shoes, FWB”

  1. I live in FITFLOPS…using them as slippers in ht ewinter..could this have weakened my achilles?

  2. Ok, no flip-flops, so what will I/should I wear in the Caribbean in 2 months time?

  3. A general and a specific question about shoes - what do you wear at about the 5 month stage? Can you wear normal shoes and if not what do you wear on a beach holiday? Off in March!

  4. I think you can wear any shoes or sandals that don’t hurt. If by “beach holiday” you mean somewhere in the Caribbean I would take three pairs of footwear: cross trainers, sandals that attach firmly to your feet and a pair of dive boots(neoprene with a good sole for wading in tidepools and such). But, I’m a diver so I have dive boots and I also like to spend a lot of time exploring tide pools.

  5. I am wearing two shoes at 7 weeks post surgery- two weeks ahead of schedule. My PT said that the AT is essentially healed and that all the boot is doing is protecting it, but that the more I am in the boot, the longer it will take the calf to strengthen. Does anyone have any thoughts on whether 7 weeks is too soon? I am still pretty much limited to my office and the house, but it is so nice not to have the boot on.

  6. The UWO protocol I followed — — says to wean off the boot at 8 weeks, but many people have gone faster, esp. with surgery. I moved into a HINGED boot at 7 weeks (withOUT approval from my Doc or PT), and started 2-timing it with 2 shoes at 8. Both felt good to me, with no stitches (non-op). As long as you’re sensible and careful (and not unlucky), it shouldn’t be too soon.

    But the vast majority of re-ruptures happen before 12 weeks, and you’re probably more at risk for the next ~5 weeks than you’ve been up ’til now, so don’t get carried away with that “essentially healed” idea! And all the smaller muscles and tendons and ligaments that stabilize your ankle and contribute to balance are either atrophied or “out of practice” or both.

    So Watch Your Step(s)!!

    Many of us used the boot for protection AFTER “2 shoes”, when heading out into crowded places, or bicycling, or doing other higher-risk things. No shame there!

  7. I ruptured my achilles in Nov 2010. I*m currently at week 9 and in a walking boot. At week I was getting fed up with slow progress so i decided to cycle round my local park. I did this three days in a row do but luckily nothing happened, however, the following week my acnle felt sore. I also decided it was time to stop wearing my boot asmuch and opted for normal shoes. I think this has added to the soreness. It was a bit of a dangerous thing to do but hey….Anyways, the good news is that I have my 9 week check up this Fri so im hoping that will mark the start of physio. Im fed up of being at home…not motivated to do anything, not even get well…I didnt feel like this in the beginning. I remember after the op, i felt this odd euphoria! Of course, i wasnt happy about being in pain or being injured but I felt at peace and was motivated to write and keep mind active. This ‘euphoria’ continued for at least 6 weeks. Not sure what changed, i guess reality set in…now im bored and unmotivated, Aaaaggghhh..

  8. Just Wondering….

    i talked to my physical therapist who mentioned that on the doctors notes it said that I can only apply 25% of my body weight on my repaired foot for the next two months!!! I’ve been using 25% of my body weight since the end of January and was under the assumption that I would be FWB by 12 weeks.

    I’m currently at 10 weeks post op, is it just me or isnt 16 weeks a bit long to be only using a small fraction of my weight?

    Please someone give me advice!

  9. Lobolen, not knowing your background or specific situation, I can’t tell you that you’re repair is healed enough to go FWB, however, what I can tell you is my personal timeline.
    -I was FWB in a walking boot (VACOcast) at week 4
    -I was FWB in 2-shoes at 9.5 weeks.
    -I’m at 11 weeks post op., now, and I am full weight bearing in two shoes w/o aid of a cane.
    Good luck. I suggest you talk to your doctor and get some more information on what his reasoning is.

  10. Lobolen, it would help if you gave us more history and some details. But my schedule was similar to iski7b’s, and followed the “UWO Protocol”, from a big new successful study with both surgical and non-surgical patients. One version of the protocol is online at .

    At 4 weeks post-whatever, all ~150 “UWO” patients started doing “FWB As Tolerated”, and I was 100% FWB a couple of days afterwards. They (we) went to the neutral position (in a boot) at 6 weeks, and “weaned” off the boot at 8 weeks. Details about exercise and PT are there, too.

    It’s unlikely that your Doctor has produced results better than that study did, though it’s conceivable (just barely) that there’s something special about your leg that really needs a slower treatment.

    The UWO study (free abstract) is online at , if you’re interested.

    You are still at a very vulnerable stage, so don’t go nuts, and Watch Your Step.

  11. Lobolen,

    I’ll give you my protocol, but have to think everyone’s injury/complications could be a bit different.
    1. NWB for 4 weeks
    2. FWB at week 4.
    3. PT and 2 shoes at week 6.

    Now, I had some incision healing problems so I didn’t start my PT until week 10 and am now finally in 2 shoes. So far I’m progressing nicely given my delayed protocol. I’ve only done 3 sessions of PT and my ROM is almost back to normal and I can almost walk with a normal gait when my AT is rested in 2 shoes. But once I fatigue the AT, my ankle becomes swollen, the AT aches, and my gait falls apart because I don’t want to feel the pain.

    One piece of advice I would recommend when looking for a PT place was a treadmill called the Alter G ( It’s basically a treadmill that allows you to walk/run and adjust your body weight percentage. This morning I walked with almost a perfectly normal gait at 65% of my body weight for 7 minutes. Apparently, it will help the recovery process and normal gait faster than traditional PT alone. I hope to be jogging on it soon.

    I still have yet to try heel raises and that’s what scares me the most. I just have to believe that the doc, PT, and all of the good information on this site is the best way to proceed.

    Hang in there. Seems like we’re all about the same timeline and I look forward to a nice job as summer rolls around.

  12. I am at 8 1/2 weeks and am in two shoes. I dont what is considered FWB. I walk around the house with no cane but I have a hitch in my step which I assume is taking weight off my injured leg right when I would have to push off. I’ll have to find it again but I was reading about % of body weight in relation to depth of water in the pool eg. if the water is knee high its so much, waist high less etc. I plan on trying swimming and walking in the pool next week.

  13. DW, if you can take a full step without a crutch or a cane (or a chain hoist, etc.) taking some of your weight, then your FWB. It doesn’t have to be a PRETTY step, or a NORMAL step. The limping and such is usually to reduce stress and flexion from your ankle and AT and calf, but your leg is bearing your whole body weight, so you’re FWB.
    From here on, your main tasks are to gradually (and safely) rebuild strength and flexion in the calf and AT, to regain tone and control in your other leg muscles etc., and to retrain yourself to walk normally without a limp — then run and jump, etc.
    Some of us kept our boot handy for scarier outings, and sometimes a cane or such, as much as a “flag” in crowded spaces as an actual walking aid.
    Good Luck!

  14. Er, make that “then you’re FWB”.

  15. NOTN thanks for the info. I found the boot to be too restrictive as it was a “true cam walker”, therefore no hinge. I think I’ll keep using the cane as a “flag” and also to remind myself not to over do. I see my doctor on Wednesday of this week coming up. And hope to start PT soon after to get a better idea of how much I can or can not do. I don’t want to baby it and I don’t want to re-rupture either.

  16. As of the last 3 days ive been FWB , so to celebrate my step to recovery i decided to go to a concert . Im 18 yrs old and n at the concerts i go to there is no sitting down . So i was basically on my feet for a couple hours dancing, Trying not put too much weight on my bad foot. However my akle still swell up, there is no pain in the tendon but my ankle on the side where below the out side bone is aching n feels painful wen i step on it sumtimes . Can anyone tell me if this is a big deal . Im hoping it’ll go awayy . I need sum feedback plzz

  17. You got a very superb website, Sword lily I observed it through yahoo.

  18. Enjoyable read. I wish I could make myself write such good posts onto my own blog. It is not easy.

  19. Hi Everyone,
    I would really like some feedback from some of you who have transitioned back to shoes and what kind of athletic walking shoe worked best for you. Specifically what you started with when you first started FWB in shoes with heal lift and what you transitioned to later.

  20. Twinworks et al, I would also like advice on what type of walking shoe/support is good to prevent re-rupture when in two shoes. I am currently in VACOped boot fwb with high wedge sole (equinus/pointing down angle) after 7 weeks since ATR (non op) scheduled (by orthopod) to be in
    neutral/flat wedge sole in another 2 weeks with 15 degrees angle, giving an arc of 20 degrees.
    Lots of trainers e.g. Asics Gel stress support for Achilles etc, without being specific about post ATR etc. Does anyone know of a specific trainer ? Assume that wedges in any high backed trainer will help ?
    UK Based for purchasing

  21. Hello, I am 8 weeks out and just returning to 2 sneakers FWB. Did any of you find that your right sneakers fit too snug post surgery? All of the sneakers i own are noticeably tighter with my toes squished up against the front of the shoe. Has anyone had a similar issue and if so did your foot go back to fitting in to your normal shoes?

  22. I found the same thing with my cross trainers. The thickened Achilles area pushes my whole foot up into my shoes.

    I have been wearing crocs around the house and they have been awesome. For going outside the house I found that my low top Sketcher shoes are awesome, plenty of space and the heel is soft so that it doesn’t irritate my Achilles.

  23. ….. I am now 90% healed and was told to go to 2 shoes YESTERDAY!!! I literally cried!! I bought Sketchers GO Recovery shoes (in coral color) and LOVE them. Easy lightweight flexible full shoe. I’m thinking about a cane too for just in case. Walking is going to be slow at first. I’m showing up at PT this morning in TWO SHOES! They will be delighted, and work me like crazy.
    I’m so scared and so happy all emotional. Praying to not re-rupture EVER!

  24. Hi all. I am 4 weeks after surgery & have an appointment on the 7th June with my surgeon who instructed me to bring a pair of shoes with a 2.5cm (1 inch) heel lift. My only problem is I am struggling to find any heel lifts in Sydney and from what I’ve read 2.5cm seems quite high.

    Anyone else in Australia who has had to do the same, feedback would be appreciated.

    Thanks :)

  25. Boredgemini,
    I’m sure you will find them on the net, however maybe ask your doc to get them for you so you know exactly what he means

  26. I did actually find them on ebay! Hopefully they arrive before my appt & are easily fitted into shoes..

    Thank you though!

  27. I got mine from my physio in western Sydney. I was given some special double sided sticky paper to glue them together. I started with 2 x 8mm wedges, 2.5cm seems alot. Not sure if your foot(heel) would stick in your shoe with that amount of lift. It will also cause a great imbalance to the other side so you should consider lifting both. If you use a good runner, where the heel is already raised from the toe, then you may get away with less. I take it you are already full weight bearing i.e. walking without crutches. You should have a physio appointment for soon after the doctors appointment. It will help with the transition. I would even get into a physio before the doc and find out if they require a protocol from the doc for your rehab.

  28. BoredGemini, are you going straight from a CAST to the shoes-with-heel-lifts? 4 weeks is a fine time to go FWB, but it’s very early to go into shoes instead of a boot. Some docs love heel lifts for 2 shoes, others never use them. I’ve never noticed any difference in outcomes, and at least one of the most successful modern studies (”UWO”), does NOT use them, so it’s not hard to get excellent results without them — but they didn’t “wean off the boot” until EIGHT weeks in, not four.

    And if you do use heel wedges in 2 shoes, you HAVE to use them in BOTH shoes!

  29. I got 5 x 6mm lifts so I may not need to use the full height, but I did get 2 so they will be in both shoes (if I’m in 2 shoes).

    I am currently still NWB in a Camboot. I have no idea why my surgeon wants to go to FWB so soon. It all seems a bit backwards compared to what everyone else has had to do. But I will just do as Im told!!

  30. Boredgemini - personally I was FWB in a cam boot at your stage. There is nothing wrong with that but to go from NWB to 2 shoes is a little different. I don’t say your Doc is wrong if that is his plan but it will feel a bit wierd. That is why I suggested you get to a physio first. 5 weeks (which will be about when you see the Doc) is fast to go into shoes but not unheard of. I was always a couple of weeks in front of Norms favourite protocol. It is a good guide for progress. Physio now can give you some good massage on the tendon and some strengthening exercises so you are ready to take the weight. Going into shoes early means you will have to be more careful for longer as there will be no protection for the tendon if you slip, misstep or forget yourself and rush. It seems at least your Doc is quite progressive and for that you should be thankful. If you have faith in him and trust his judgement then I see no reason to doubt him. You can of course take control for yourself at any time if you feel differently. Norm and I have always disagreed on the heel wedge thing. I am a big fan and have good reasons but whether they are better than none I cannot say. I feel that without them I would not have regained my strength, speed and fitness as fast. In the end it the individual result that matters. Hope yours is good. Happy birthday by the way (belated).

  31. Thanks for the info xplora. I am a little hesitant to go to physio before I go back to the surgeon. I have to trust that the order in which he wants things done is right. Although the thought of being in 2 shoes straight from NWB is scary. I would prefer to stay in the boot for a while for support, like you said. I am sure I will find out more next Friday at my appointment.
    And thank you for the birthday wishes - although it is next Friday!

  32. boredgemini - Knew your birthday had to be close and took a punt as most of the gemini time is over. I am not big into the stars. Just had mine. Everything about this injury can be scary. If there is no cause to worry then there is no point making one. Your Doc will reveal all next week. Get yourself a page here so we can keep track. It is good to have more people from this side of the earth sharing although the circumstances are not to be desired.

  33. I would if I could figure out how to start the blog up lol..

  34. boredgemin - read the 3 paragraph from the top of the main page for instructions to start your own page. Top left you will see a ’sign up’ tab. Click on that and follow the instuctions. Once you have sent the email to Dennis, he will respond and set up your page. That should get you started but there may be other administrative help you will require. Just yell out and someone will help.

  35. All done :) thanks..

  36. Any sneakerheads in here? gonna be in shoes soon and looking for some good everyday shoes besides the Kobe 9 high tops, which I am considering

  37. First week out of boot. Was at Borgata. Walking to room. Felt huge pain at base of tendon. Well below where reattached. Pain shot up and through tendon. Thought I restore it. Checked was still in tact. Thought it was adhesion but when I got home it did it again to a lesser extent. Some achiness the next day but light. Was still able to do home exercises. Called docs emergency line got pa. (Don’t you always now). He said it could be reruptured. Doesn’t feel that bad. Or adhesion. Or something else (lots of help!) did anybody experience this. I have to call office Monday morning.

  38. I’m so sorry CoachJohn, that your achilles tendon is acting up… I’ve been two shoes for a week and a half now, and I can’t deny I’m being ultra careful and wearing heels to prevent hurting myself. But things can happen, so getting to your orthopedist as soon as possible does sound like the best idea.
    I have had sharp pains in the base of the foot, right under and in the center of the heel, on two occasions after going to 2 shoes, but they have passed. But the pain was bearable and didn’t feel part of the tendon.
    My only other suggestion would be to consider using the boot meanwhile, as added protection until the orthopedist checks you out…. :-/

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